SANDY, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC could become the first team to clinch its place in the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs on Friday night should it take victory against Rio Grande Valley FC when the teams meet at Rio Tinto Stadium in the second meeting of the season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT.
Real Monarchs SLC news and notes
Current record: 16-3-4, 52pts
The Monarchs played to a 2-2 draw with the Swope Park Rangers last Friday night, and enter the weekend seven points clear in the USL Western Conference.
Daniel Haber scored his fifth goal of the season in the contest, which puts him third on the team behind Chandler Hoffman (14) and Sebastian Velasquez (6).
Real is within range of earning its first trip to the USL Cup Playoffs on Friday. A victory against the Toros, and an Orange County SC win against OKC Energy FC, would put the Monarchs into the postseason.
Monarchs midfielder Charlie Adams sits 12th in the USL with 38 key passes this season, and is tied for fourth with six assists.
Rio Grande Valley FC news and notes
Current record: 7-10-6, 27pts
The Toros were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night by Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 as T.J. Casner scored a second-half equalizer for the hosts at H-E-B Park.
Rio Grande Valley is undefeated in its last four matches, but has gone only 1-0-3 in that span to sit three points out of the eighth and final playoff position going into this weekend.
The Toros are tied for fifth in passing accuracy this season, completing 80.4 percent of their passes at a rate of 418 passes per 90 minutes.
Rio Grande Valley FC has scored six goals from outside the penalty area this season, tied for fifth in the USL.
Real Monarchs – GK: Connor Sparrow, Andrew Putna, Lalo Fernandez; D: Reagan Dunk, Justin Schmidt, James Moberg, Kyle Curinga, Max Lachowecki, Emilio Orozco, Michael Gallagher, Taylor Peay, Riggs Lennon; M: Sebastian Saucedo, Jose Hernandez, Charlie Adams, Diego Calvo, Nick Besler, Sebastian Velasquez, Karsten Hanlin; F: Andrew Brody, Daniel Haber, Chase Minter, Chandler Hoffman, Juan Mare, Skyler Milne, Jonel Desire, Danny Cruz
Rio Grande Valley – GK: Marco Carducci, Borja Angoitia, Calle Brown, Michael Kirk; D: Kai Greene, Victor Garza, Robby Sagel, Ivan Magalhaes, Justin Bilyeu, Leo Ayala, Dylan Remick, Kevin Garcia, Taylor Hunter, Juan Garcia, Camilo Botero; M: Jorginho James, Eric Bird, T.J. Casner, Todd Wharton, Christian Lucatero, Memo Rodriguez, Joe Holland, Eric Alexander, Jose Escalante; F: Ruben Luna, Kyle Murphy, Francisco Pungo
Real Monarchs – Accumulation warning: Michael Gallagher
Rio Grande Valley – None
REF: JON FREEMON
AR1: Daniel Spicer-Escalante
AR2: Kristi Mak
4TH: Allen Pickett
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